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Rent-a-car business in Turkey promises big growth

06 June 2011 [12:00] - TODAY.AZ
The car rental business in Turkey will double in volume in the next five years due to growing capital, employment and technological investments, according to a senior professional. Still, the sector is far from reaching the size of car rentals in Europe.

The number of daily individual and corporate rentals has reached 145,000, said İnan Ekici, vice general manager of local branch of Avis.

The estimated value of the total cars used in the rental business has hit $3 billion this year, Ekici told the Anatolia news agency.

Some legal regulations were required to sustain this growth trend in the last 10 years, he said.

The number of cars for rent is 2 per 10,000 people in Turkey, Ekici said. The figure climbs up to 50 in some European Union countries.

The car rental expense per person in Turkey is 1.3 euros. Ekici said the amount is too low compared with the EU countries, and it is even 3.5 times higher in Hungary.

The domestic market is also way below the European markets in long-term rental business, he said.

"There are some 130,000 cars in the long-term rental business in Turkey. Due to a regulation on commercial car rentals in 2007, the domestic park was reduced by 20,000 to 25,000 cars. In some European countries, one company owns the amount of cars for rent in the whole of Turkey," he said.

Economic development in the country supports the sector with an increasing number of business trips, while the growing convention tourism is adding more to the potential, he said.

"The increase in the number of airways operating in the country is another element, which drives the growth in the business. The domestic flyers rose by 53 percent in the last three years as the increase rate of international flights in the same period is 33 percent," he said.

"Individuals prefer taking planes and renting cars after long distance business trips rather than driving the whole way. In parallel, the number of car rental spots at the airports is increasing."

Demand in luxury cars

His company has increased the number of luxury cars in its fleet due to rising demand, Ekici said. Avis added Mercedes C180 K, Volvo S60, BMW 3.16 and Mini Cooper cars to the fleet along with 4x4 SUV models.

"We want to show even luxury cars might be rented for affordable prices in the daily rental business and offer a wide range of options," he said.

Some 12 percent of Avis’s fleet consists of luxury cars, Ekici said.

The company is the sector leader in the country with a 17 percent market share, according to the executive.

The revenues of Avis, which also holds the Budget brand, hit 130 million Turkish Liras in 2010.  The company aims to double its size in two years in short term rentals the target for long term is triple growth in 5 years, Ekici said.

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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